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SugarSync – Killer iPhone Productivity App

August 10, 2008 by Derek Walter 

You get an email on your iPhone asking for your resume. Typically you would have to wait until you got back on your computer before being able to answer. Not anymore.

SugarSync is the best choice for iPhone users who want access to their docs, photos, and other files right on their iPhone. The iPhone optimized site, easy navigation and solid security make it a must-have for anyone who wants or needs synchronized file access.

You can get started by downloading the software for your Mac or PC from the SugarSync web site. The design isn’t super flashy, but it’s very easy to work and gives suitable options for either the business user or consumer. The initial download and related iPhone app is free, but you have to pay for the storage after a 45-day free trial. Although after that timeframe you will probably conclude, as I did, that it is well worth it. While there are some other free storage options out there (Office Live, Google Docs, Windows Live Mesh) none of them are as comprehensive or as friendly to iPhone users as SugarSync. Especially since you can get 10GB of storage for only $24.99 a year:

Plans range depending on how much storage you want.

Plans range depending on how much storage you want.

The program works silently in the background syncing your files. The strength of the service is not having to think about uploading a file to a storage site or making sure you put it on a flash drive. Just sync and you’re ready. The software also offers a feature called the Magic Briefcase. This is one folder that will always be synced no matter what you save in it and how often. It’s a great place to save thigns that you know you will want to use on another computer or view on your iPhone.

All your files are available to view and email.

Which leads to why SugarSync is especially strong for iPhone users. Your documents are viewable at a specific URL just for your files. You can get to it from any browser, but what really makes it sing is the iPhone optimized site. You can tap your way through your files and not only view, but email them as well.

Your files from all computers and a web archive are available for viewing.

As the trend towards cloud computing continues, services such as SugarSync will be essential for mutliple-computer users. Also, the growing number of business users who are making their iPhonpart of their business tools will find this very handy. And if you are concerned about hard drive space, you can use the Web Archive features. This allows you to put copies of files that you do not want to automatically sync when you edit or delete the original version.

Viewing docs was easy. It uses the same pinch and swipe method for zooming in and out that you would on Safari. It is not a file editor, but it gives a peek at what this would be like on the iPhone (hear that, app developers?)

SugarSync viewed every Office file I tried: such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and even PDFs. However, it did not view OneNote files, which was quite the bummer since I and many other task organizing types rely on this software to keep tabs of notes and to-do lists.

This is a syncing solution that gets it right for the iPhone. Sure, there are other free services out there, and some, such as Live Mesh, have a mobile site and show a lot of promise. But for a full-featured, ready-to-go iPhone app that will allow you to ditch your laptop even more, SugarSync is the way to go.

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